Dear friends,

It’s been almost a year since we opened our doors. We have much to be thankful for and some news to share.

First, our (almost) one-year stats:

Submissions received: 4,231 (3,465 fiction, 766 nonfiction)
Sent to our current editors: 443 (350 fiction, 93 nonfiction)
Accepted: 59 (42 fiction, 17 nonfiction)
Declined: 3,897
Pending: 107

Acceptance rates: 1.51% (fiction 1.17% nonfiction 2.17%)
VIDA count: 54% (32 out of 59)
Writers who’d never been published before at the time of acceptance: 3

You can read the pieces we nominated to Pushcart and Best of the Net!

Aside from publishing some wonderful writing, one of the biggest thrills for us was to receive followup messages from authors. Two such notes said that their pieces were accepted as a result of rewrites undertaken using our comments. As writers ourselves, that’s an inspiring thing to hear.

Some things we learned running our magazine—

  1. Our editors’ tastes vary widely. This is not surprising in itself, but the extent of it was eye-opening to all of us. One editor’s form rejection, it soon became clear, might be another’s acceptance. In fact, we published or accepted 3 such pieces (in comparison, we published 6 pieces that received unanimous positive votes). So, if you got a rejection or two from us, keep sending your work out.
  2. Good pieces are rejected all the time. A number of declined pieces were published elsewhere. Honestly, sometimes, we’ve let go good pieces because a) current editors weren’t keen even if the readers were, b) an editor’s spots were full, c) they’d already selected a similar piece. A rejection isn’t necessarily a message that a story isn’t good enough, or that it needs to be rewritten.
  3. It is very difficult to put together a perfect piece. Often we see well-written stories that lack something. Sometimes the language is great but the story arc is lacking. Sometimes the plot is excellent but the language isn’t sharp. Perhaps the ending is not satisfying. Sometimes they are the kinds of stories we see frequently. It’s a tricky business! But some uniqueness is a huge help, so be yourself!
  4. Most of our submitters are gracious. We sometimes wonder if we should include our readers’ comments when we decline. We don’t want to offend anyone–we only do it to be helpful. We have received a few peevish “rejection of our rejection” e-mails, but most writers who contact us are friendly and grateful. We are always happy to receive your feedback too!

 

Some news—

Starting from 2017, each piece we publish will be accompanied by an author interview if the writer wants to participate. We hope you’ll enjoy them.

Also, we will be publishing submission stats monthly instead of bi-weekly. We don’t want to crowd our pages/brains. We are planning on some other new things that will soon be released, so stay tuned.

Most of all, thanks very much for reading our magazine. We are so grateful to our readers and submitters. We look forward to reading your work!

Happy New Year!